On Nov. 17, 2017, ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao encouraging the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to consider including the benefits of geosynthetic materials in future infrastructure legislation.
“Geosynthetic materials are a critical, innovative element of the transportation construction industry,” the representatives wrote, “all the while delivering cost savings, sustainability, and longevity for a variety of civil infrastructure applications. . . . We therefore encourage you to consider the importance of geosynthetics materials and other innovative technologies in the upcoming infrastructure package.”
Spearheaded by engineer and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., the letter to Secretary Chao was signed by representatives Rick Crawford, R-Ark.; Rodney Davis, R-Ill.; Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.; Garret Graves, R-La.; Steve King, R-Iowa; Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.; David Rouzer, R-N.C.; Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.; and Randy Weber, R-Texas.
The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) met with all of these representatives or their staffs in the past year. GMA has also honored U.S. Reps. Garret Graves, Chuck Fleischmann and Frank LoBiondo with the GMA Friend of the Industry Award, an annual award given out by the GMA executive council honoring strong advocates for the industry.
GMA managing director Jonathan Curry said, “GMA is very excited that U.S. Rep. Westermann, an engineer by trade, is leading the charge to support the use of geosynthetics as an innovative material that will help strengthen our country’s industry. It is also great to see past recipients of the GMA Friend of the Industry Award, such as U.S. Reps. LoBiondo, Fleischmann and Graves, continue to be strong advocates in Congress for our industry.”